Portland College

Portland College is a vibrant, national college for people with a wide range of disabilities and a centre of excellence for people with Autism.
Classroom activities
The logo of Portland College S41 status


Portland College
Nottingham Road
NG18 4TJ
  • Course Length (weeks):
  • Residential or Day:
    Residential and day
  • Start Time:
  • Maximum Number of Students:
  • Age Range:
    16 – 25
  • Other Locations:
    Mansfield and Sutton in Ashfield.



General Description

Situated in the heart of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, Portland College has developed to become a vibrant national college for people with a wide range of disabilities, and a centre of excellence for people with Autism. Earlier this year the college was extremely proud to be crowned Leading Business at the Autism Hero Awards in celebration of our commitment to supporting people with Autism.

Catchment Area

We are a national residential college with learners coming to Portland from across the United Kingdom. Portland also has day learners who travel to us from the local area of the East Midlands. 


We teach personal progression to all learners, developing their communication and social skills. All learners have work experience opportunities and independence training suited to their ability level and interests.  

Depending on your interests you will access one of our vocational study programmes which focus on a wide variety of subjects; within that programme you will then be streamed on an individualised route depending on your assessed level. Functional skills Maths, English and ICT are embedded within a learner’s study programme through bespoke individualised approaches and targets as well as through discrete group sessions.

The Residential Learning Service offers learners a unique inclusive residential learning experience that connects classroom experience with residential life. Learners will enjoy all the usual advantages of living on campus in a residential area with the added benefit of living among a group that shares academic goals and interests.

Specialist Facilities

Portland College offers all round support with superb teaching facilities including multi-sensory suites. Qualified tutors work with on-site speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and fully qualified care staff to deliver individual study programmes. 

Our fantastic woodland campus, with its farm, coffee shop, horticulture area, and enterprise units offers many in-house opportunities for personal development and 'real life' work experience. 

Portland College now has a brand new, award-winning, fully accessible forest adventure facility, Woodland Adventure Zone! Set amongst acres of pine trees within Sherwood Forest, it includes a 7m climbing tower, 90m zipline, bushcraft activities, indoor archery, gravity trail, woodland walks and much more. With access for wheelchair users and people with disabilities, the Woodland Adventure Zone provides an exciting experience for everyone.

Other Information

At Portland College our Residential Learning Service offers a unique, inclusive residential learning experience that connects the classroom experience with residential life.

As a residential learner you can enjoy the advantages of living on campus, with the added benefit of living among a peer group that shares your academic goals and interests. Portland College has two specialist offers available for residential learners; a full-time residential placement and a week-day boarding placement. While accessing the service you can either be fulltime residential, or blend a number of services together that will link your learning experience with residential life.

  • > Our expertise

    We have expertise in meeting the needs of students with:

    • A wide range of physical disabilities
    • Autism spectrum disorder
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Autism spectrum disorder with associated challenging behaviour
    • Profound and multiple learning difficulties
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of d/Deaf students
    • Epilepsy and/or associated neurological conditions
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who are blind or visually impaired
    • Expertise in meeting the needs of students who have specific learning difficulties
    • Communication difficulties
    • Moderate learning difficulties
    • Severe learning difficulties
  • > Our curriculum

    We offer:

    • Opportunities to prepare for work after college
    • Opportunities to follow vocational courses
    • Opportunities for work experience
    • Opportunities to experience real work situations
    • Opportunities to take part in a range of business activities
    • Opportunities for students to participate in community activities and to learn about citizenship
    • A programme to help students to look after themselves more independently
    • A transition programme into supported or open employment
    • Opportunities to improve literacy, numeracy and/or communication skills
    • Opportunities to take part in a wide range of social, leisure and sporting activities
    • A hospitality and catering curriculum
    • A programme to enable students to learn more about themselves and how to form relationships
    • Opportunities to improve and develop communication skills through the use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication aids
    • Opportunities to follow vocational qualifications
    • Opportunities to prepare for further training after college
    • Opportunities to explore a range of living options after college
    • A transition programme into independent living
  • > Our specialist services

    • Registered with the Care Quality Commission / Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales
    • Residential provision linked to the academic year
    • In-house speech and language therapy
    • In-house physiotherapy
    • In-house occupational therapy
    • Specialist training to enable independent travel
    • Guidance and counselling services
    • Extensive use of assistive and adaptive technologies
    • Specialist staff to meet personal care requirements
    • Residential provision extending beyond the academic year

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The S41 symbol next to most of the colleges in the directory means that they are on the Secretary of State’s Approved List.

This list, developed as part of the Children and Families Act 2014, means that some parts of the Act apply to these independent institutions. This includes specialist colleges.